25 May 2010 – Le Chapeau

May 25th, 2010 § 38 comments

25 May 2010 – Le Chapeau, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Hat: Banana Republic Factory
  • Eyelet top: F21
  • Belt: vintage, from mom
  • Shorts: Banana Republic Factory
  • T-strap wedges: Target.com

End Notes:

The sun has been shining bright and hot in Academichic central over the past few days, which means it’s been the perfect weather for debuting the latest addition to my summer wardrobe: this floppy paper straw hat. I was so drawn to this hat when I saw it in the store and I tried it on initially as a kind of joke. But then, I just fell in love with its swooping lines, wide brim, and overall playfulness and A. — ever my faithful shopping partner — encouraged me to step out of my style comfort bubble and go ahead and purchase it.

I’m imagining wearing this to picnics in the park, walks with baby e., and an outdoor dinner with my husband, along with less idyllic pursuits such as weeding my backyard. Still, it currently takes me a little pep talk to go outside with such a dominant, eye-catching head-topper, so today, I kept the rest of my outfit clean and classic: a white eyelet top, high waisted navy shorts, and tan accessories.

25 May 2010 – Le Chapeau, originally uploaded by academichic.

Of course, the hat’s primary purpose is to protect me from the sun, something that I’ve grown more conscious about over the last few years. Now that I have soft baby e. skin to care for too, I’m especially aware of the dermal benefits of hat-wearing.

But I need your help! This is the first “real” hat (aka, not a baseball cap or knit cap) that I’ve owned, and I need tips on to care for it to ensure that a long, sun-blocking life. Certainly there is an abundance of information via Google, but I’m interested to hear your tried and true methods for storage, cleaning, or protection.

Will you be wearing a sun hat this summer?

25 May 2010 – Le Chapeau, originally uploaded by academichic.

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§ 38 Responses to 25 May 2010 – Le Chapeau"

  1. Clare says:

    Oooh, I love huge floppy hats!! I used to rock the crap outta them with my longer hair, but I’ve found them to be harder to style with my pixie cut. I love this look on you, though, and those shorts are great!

  2. Dee says:

    I love it! Once I hit 30 and started seeing the sun damage on my face I started using sunscreen and wearing a big hat! We spend a lot of time on the river in the summer and I *always* wear a hat. I don’t usually wear it after the sun goes down though or just around town – mostly just when I am going to be in the sun for extended periods of time. I don’t do much to my hat in the way of storage or cleaning. I keep it in my beach bag most of the time and it pops right back into shape. Good luck and I’m looking forward to seeing future styles with the hat!

  3. Melanie says:

    Love the hat (and the blog—I’ve recently discovered it)! I took a huge style leap a few years ago with the addition of a straw cowboy hat to my summer wardrobe. It’s cheap (Target), a neutral shade that goes with everything, and gives me lots of sun protection. Come to think of it, I started wearing a big hat once I had my son, too. :)

  4. T. says:

    I absolutely wear hats in the summer, hats with big floppy brims. I also have “Gilligan” hats when I want sun protection with a lower profile. I keep them all stacked on a dedicated shelf in my closet. You look cute in yours, but try bringing the brim down lower on your forehead, closer to your eyebrows. I learned that trick from a hat maker!

  5. C says:

    I have been lusting after a big floppy hat like yours for the past few summers, but have been lacking the confidence to try it out. I saw one the other day at Target and tried it on for my husband, who loved it. Maybe I’ll have to go back and snatch it up!

    Loving The Reflection

  6. Lisa says:

    I love the hat on you! I’ve never really worn a hat like that, I tend to stick to baseball hats, but there’s no glamor in that. I’d be interested in trying one b/c I’m trying to avoid getting burnt this summer. You and baby e. look very nice together in your hats.

  7. Lindsey says:

    I just bought a red hat in a similar style from Forever 21. I thought it was super-cute (and only $8!), but it is wayyy out of my comfort zone. Thanks for giving me the courage to wear it! :)

    I just stumbled across this blog, and I am absolutely LOVING it. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  8. teri says:

    you look cute! and I definitely wear a big floppy sunhat in the summers and with oversized sunglasses.

    I don’t care if I look like a bug–or perhaps a wanna-be starlet/fashionista if I include some “boho chic” clothing (channeling nicole richie??)

  9. Jane W. says:

    Good call on the hat, A. & E.! This will be my first summer venturing into hat territory. I’ve worn sunblock every day for the past 21 years (I’m 41) and it has definitely a paid off.

    I’m adding a hat to my repertoire now purely to stave off exhaustion. I live in the desert at a high altitude and the sun is brutal.

    THe hat is made of khaki duck cloth, with an adjustable crown and extremely wide brim–it shades my shoulders and neck. If it weren’t for the fabric, it could blend right in at Ascot.

  10. Diana says:

    That photo of you and baby E both holding your hats down is too adorable!

  11. Michelle says:

    I have that same F21 blouse! Never thought to tuck it in, but looks super cute :) i’ll have to try that sometime!

  12. Amelia says:

    You have really, REALLY awesome ankles. Jealous!

  13. Linda says:

    It looks great on you! I, alas, am 5’2″ and don’t do well with big hats.

  14. Eloise says:

    I have loved big floppy hats (and all other kinds!) since I read this as a small child: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22342462@N04/2882666556 . I wear them every day in spring, summer and autumn, and would in winter too if I could find one I liked. I don’t take very good care of them, but, like umbrellas, I tend to lose them before they get destroyed. The one thing I do worry about is getting them rained on, so it might be worth looking into waterproofing spray (like you use on shoes), depending on what the hat’s made out of. Many of them can be stuffed into a bag no problem, but if the paper/straw is a loose-ish weave, it eventually begins to come un-woven if you fold it too often.

  15. E says:

    This is a nice hat. I especially like the second picture where you are both touching your hats. The composition is really good. Question: I’m short, can a short person wear a big hat?

  16. Erika says:

    I love this hat. I worked up the courage to buy and wear a very similar one last summer (out gardening, to the market, on outings), and I received lots of compliments. I think it works especially well on someone tall (like me), but I think it could be cute on a shorter person too. Plus it really does help one stay cool!

  17. That hat is ace on you! I love that you’ve balanced it with the clean, simple shorts – it’s a very Katherine-Hepburn-on-vacation-on-the-French-Riviera kind of look.

    If you can find a head form (many beauty supply stores carry them, especially those that cater to professionals), that’s bar none the best way to store your hat. Failing that, stuff the crown loosely with crumpled-up paper and place it on a shelf (or in a box) so the brim is flat all the way around. I’m always worried about wearing my paper straw hats in the rain: while the few times I’ve gotten caught in an unexpected drizzle haven’t destroyed them, I’m always careful to get under cover quickly if a downpour starts.

    Oh, and you’ve just acquired a new place to wear scarves. Try tying a long, lightweight one around the crown like a hatband, leaving the ends floating behind you!

  18. Vaia says:

    Love the hat! I almost purchased a similar one in white last night while out shopping. You’ve inspired me to go back and buy it!

  19. I love a huge floppy hat, but I’ve always feared them when I have bobbed hair. You have inspired me to give some of mine a try in spite of my anxiety!

  20. Adorable! I do not have a summer hat, but as a Lady Who Burns, I need to invest in one. Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Emma says:

    I’ll be wearing a very similar shaped floppy hat this summer (if the weather is good enough!). I love hats, but my skin also burns easily so I mainly wear it for practical reasons. Mine is squashy so it can be folded up and stuffed in a bag, and it just lives on a hook in the cupboard from year to year!

  22. spacegeek says:

    I wear a hat whenever I’m outside for any length of time–exercise, beach, park, etc. My toddlers are very fair, so they have to wear hats all the time too. It is much easier to get them to accept hats because “mommy is wearing one too.”

    So I say, find hats you love and wear ‘em lots! Baby e.’s skin will thank you later!! :-)

  23. Kiki says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog. What a fabulous job you ladies do! I have spent oodles of time in institutions of higher education, and let me just say what excellent community service this is!!! xoxo kiki

  24. R says:

    I have a Panama hat and when I bought it the salesman told me that the better way to keep its shape was to put it on a shelf without anything on top, so it would keep its shape.

  25. Sue says:

    Nice topper there! I’m olive-skinned and live under the hat. Over the years I’ve had fancy hats and then “pool” hats, a pool hat doesn’t care if it gets wet and full of salt water or chlorine. For work-a-day needs like weeding, a boonie hat is really nice, http://www.amazon.com/Waterboony-Boonie-Boony-Medium-Black/dp/B001D4TKY4. You can find them not in “camo.”

    BTW, love your blog.

  26. Claudia says:

    Gosh, never in a million years did I think I’d covet a big, floppy straw hat such as yours.

    You are killing me with your fabulousness in it. Great find, thanks for sharing!

  27. Amanda says:

    I have a great floppy hat that I bought at the Miami airport while en route to Jamaica.

    It got a little wet and so a little wavy, but to help it keep it’s shape I use a pants hanger with a little strip of fabric in between the hat and the teeth of the clips. I just hang it on the back of my bedroom door, or in my closet (when it’s not stuffed to the gills). It’s kept what’s left of it’s original shape very well.

  28. [...] baking, house repairing, and gardening and don’t look nearly as adorable when I garden as E. does.   Today I am finally leaving the house to go somewhere other than the park with the puppy or to [...]

  29. Pam says:

    I love the hat. It’s pouring here and getting colder – winter has just about arrived. It’s nice to see such a summery look to take my mind off the rain.

  30. k says:

    I almost never wear shorts and went out on a limb and bought a pair of black linen shorts the other day. I was wondering how I’d style them to not look too middle-America, and thanks to you I now have some good ideas. I love the tank tucked in!

  31. I want that hat! I’m going on a road trip later and I need one. Love your outfit :)

  32. Tamia says:

    I have big hair, so I don’t wear hats as much as I’d like. I love this look, though, and the hats I do own are stuffed w/tissue paper on a shelf at the top of the closet.

    By the by, you have GOT to stop posting pics of baby e. Makes my ovaries tingle.

  33. [...] E. of Academichic has a new glorious summer hat. [...]

  34. [...] this is the kind of summer dressing that I find so, so easy. A dress, shoes, and now a big floppy hat. There is something so wonderful about just being able to throw on a dress — with a built-in [...]

  35. Bekah Mae says:

    What a fantastic hat!

  36. thank you for sharing with us,i like it very much and i will always give attention

  37. [...] summer I became a hat lady, and I added to my hat collection this year with a little straw fedora. I’m wearing it as-is [...]

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